While fellow Illinois college Iowa State seems to be in meltdown mode, the No. 14 Iowa Hawkeyes are showing they mean business. After upsetting then No. 3 Ohio State 84-74 a week ago, Iowa showed the result wasn’t a fluke with their 94-73 victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and they keep up in the Big 10 standings.
After last week’s win over the Buckeyes, many thought the Hawkeyes found some luck and the win meant very little. However, Sunday’s win proves the opposite and shows that they are a contender not only in the Big 10 but around the nation as well.
In Sunday’s victory, Iowa showed their versatility from the floor, beyond the arc, and from the charity stripe. Good teams step up when the game is tight, and Iowa did just that as they pulled away in their second half. Instead of forcing passes and rushing shot chances, Iowa effectively passed the ball, found the open lanes, and made the high percentage shots.
Likewise, their smartness prevented Minnesota from coming back and handing Iowa their own upset. With a tough schedule ahead that features Big 10 powerhouses like Michigan, Michigan St., and Illinois, it is imperative the Hawkeyes continue their cohesive, spot-on play. If they can do that, they will continue to show they are serious contenders this year. On the other hand, losses to Michigan and Illinois could reveal the opposite.
So far though, Iowa is building an impressive tournament resume with wins against Ohio St. and single-digit losses to Villanova and Wisconsin. Their resume can grow and improve further if their play remains consistent, but it can’t be taken for granted by either the Hawkeyes, or the fans.
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